Thursday, August 25, 2011

Achy Breaky Heart

There are moments when things Keller says just tear my heart out.

Yesterday he began first grade in his new school. He seemed so excited about it. When he woke up, he came running downstairs saying "It's my first day of school! It's my first day of school!" He was so cute. He got dressed in his new outfit that he picked out all on his own and got ready to go quickly. He put on his backpack and ran out the door.

We got the girls into their stroller and hit the road on our walk to school. Keller was still excited and was talking a mile a minute the whole way.

When we got to school, I think he felt really overwhelmed. This is a much bigger school than Goddard School and certainly has many more students. And with it being the first day of school, it was crazy. The mascot for the school is the eagle, so there was someone dressed in an eagle costume dancing around to Rocky. It was cute. There were kids and parents everywhere. Really, it was a madhouse.

We found Keller's classroom and sat there waiting for his teacher. As the other kids were starting to show up, Keller asked me, "What if the other kids don't like me?" My heart broke into a million little pieces. How could they not like my sweet boy?

For years now, Keller has had a life outside of us. He's been going to preschool and kindergarten and has had stuff happen in his day that I don't know about. However, Goddard was a really safe environment. It was small and low-key and just safe. For some reason yesterday made me realize that he's entering into a different world. A world that I have no control over what happens to him. Kids are mean and they're going to say mean things to him. He's going to get his feelings hurt and there's nothing I can do about it. He's sad right now because he doesn't know anyone at school and it breaks my heart. He said during recess he just walked around the playground because he felt lost. I wanted to jump out a window. When we asked about lunch and if he liked eating outside, he said yes but that he ate alone because no one sat next to him. I want to puke just thinking about it again.

He's such a sweet boy and I know he'll make friends quickly. But seeing him sad just kills me. I've never seen him like this and I don't know what to do. I keep telling myself that it's only been a day and he'll be all right. And he's not the only new person in his class. Maybe I'm reading too much into his behavior, but he just seems different. I hope it's just that he's nervous and overwhelmed by the new situation and not a change in him. He's always been confident and really good at making friends. He had 3 new friends within minutes of moving into our house. Unfortunately though, those boys aren't in his class.

I wish I could make things easier for him. I wish I could be there with him and help him meet his classmates. I just want to see him smile again and feel comfortable about his new classmates. This is the part of parenting that really gets me. I don't want him to feel any sadness or feel alone. But it's a part of life and everyone experiences it. Even my sweet boy.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Jet Airliner

I've been in CA for 2 and a half days now. Honestly, it feels like we've been living here for a while. It's amazing how seemless the transition has been. I'm a California girl at heart, always have been. I've always been a free spirit and have marched to the beat of my own drum all my life. And our lifestyle is very west coast. Perhaps that's why I've always felt at odds in Maryland. I always had a hard time connecting with people and with Montgomery County, in general. It's weird because I'm a New Yorker. You'd think I'd do well in a place like Montgomery County. But MoCo is a different place than the rest of the east coast and while there are some truly wonderful people there that will be in my life forever, I'm not going to miss that place at all.

The trip out here with the babies and my mom could not have been better. While traveling with two babies through an airport is hectic just by definition, I think it all went really well. My uncle and aunt were staying with us in NY leading up to us leaving for CA and, if I had listened to my uncle, I would have thought the world would stop spinning and life as we know it would be over. I love my uncle, don't get me wrong, but he tends to find the negative things in every situation. I don't know if he's just a "expect the worst" kind of person, because in actuality, he's a very positive, giving person. I don't know. I don't try to understand. Anyway, every detail of our impending travel would cause him to point out the ways things could go terribly wrong. You're leaving at 9:00am? NOOOO! You have a layover? HORROR! You get the idea.

Well, getting to the airport with all of our stuff and the babies required two cars. That was hilarious. I was going to stuff myself in the back of my dad's SUV with all the suitcases, but I didn't fit. The babies' carseats take up the entire backseat, so I could sit there. Two cars it was. I really should have my own reality show. I require an entourage just to get to the airport.

Of course Ellen pooped on the way to the airport. And it was a mess that required a new outfit (of course). After we checked in, went through security and found the gate, we changed her and then fed them. Security really wasn't bad at all. Everyone was very helpful and the process was pretty smooth. Boarding the plane was fine as well. Again, everyone was ready to help us and there weren't any issues.

The first flight to Chicago went well. It was short, so that made things easy. The girls slept and were really good with take off and landing. The layover in Chicago went well too. We changed and fed them and then boarded the flight to San Diego. This was a 4 hour flight, so I was a little nervous as to how it would go. The girls slept for the first hour or so, then hung out. Ellen pooped again and I was surprised that the bathroom wasn't too terrible for baby changing. It wasn't a roomy palace, but I only hit my head a couple of times. That's successful in my book. We then fed them, which went well. I was nervous about making bottles while trying to hold a baby. But it worked out, thankfully. The people we were sitting with were helpful and offered extra hands. Brenna pooped, but it wasn't one of her monster poops, so I didn't have to get my hazmat suit on. Then the girls slept and we touched down in SD. They were a little fussy as the plane landed, which was probably due to the air pressure changing. Overall they were perfect.

And now we're here!! The house is in disarray and we've been busting our asses unpacking. But it's starting to get together. Keller already has a couple of friends on our block and they all run in and out of each others' houses all day. We've met a few of the neighbors and everyone seems really nice. Once a month during the summer, they show a movie in the park around the block from our house. This is the community's big rec park with baseball fields, splash park, dog run, etc. It's just the community park for residents. Anyone can go there, obviously, but it's our community park. I'm not describing this well. Anyway, they showed Tangled last night and everyone laid in the baseball field on blankets and watched the movie under the stars. We were freezing and had to put on jackets and cuddle under a blanket. Imagine that, freezing in August!! Then we just walked home.

It's definitely feeling like home...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Silent Night

I love my mom dearly. But Oh. My. God. Woman can snore.

For the past week we've been sharing a bed. At my house in Maryland, it was because, for the night before we left, we only had one bed. Here in NY, we have lots of house guests. So we figured it would be easiest to share a bed. Yeah, easy for you!

The first night I didn't wear my ear plugs. I don't remember why but I didn't wear them and I think I got maybe 3 hours of sleep that night. But since then, I've worn them each night. And I can still hear her!!

I have these great ear plugs. I'm a fairly light sleeper and John has been known to snore and talk in his sleep, so they work well for me. They're made for swimmers and they kind of adhere to your ears. Nothing gets through. Except the insanely loud snores from a tiny little Italian woman.

I've worn the ear plugs each night since that first, wall-shaking night. I can STILL hear her. The bed shakes. The walls rattle. I'm afraid she's going to inhale the curtains.

In her defense, she does have a little cold. But that defense can only carry her so far. I just hope I don't smother her before this odyssey is through.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Hello Goodbye

We made it out of Maryland!

Last week was a true test of patience. Between Friday, August 5th and Wednesday, August 10th, I think I aged 12 years. Here's the breakdown:

We met with the closing agent and signed all the documents to close on the house. I had the babies with me, so it was a crazy 2 hours of signing, feeding, changing, rocking, phone calls from Keller's new school, phone calls from the new owners of our Maryland house asking questions, etc. Seriously, I wanted to cry.

We had some final work to do on the house and some packing to do during the day, but in the evening, it was our going away party. It was a fun but emotional night for me. I hate saying goodbye (does anyone actually like it?) and it was particularly tough that night.

Sunday was my birthday. It was an odd day. We had a nice morning and John made us breakfast after we danced to the Birthday song. We were supposed to go paddle boarding but thunderstorms changed our plans. We got to the place and all set to go out and then the skies opened up. We waited for a while but they had to cancel the lesson. Oh well. We then went appliance shopping for the house. Yes, it was lovely looking at refrigerators and washers and dryers on my birthday. Actually, it really wasn't that bad, but I did have to laugh at the romance of it all.

I got a call from the Escrow agent in CA that we didn't sign all of the closing documents and we had to sign more. They sent them but didn't really give us much in the way of instructions. We signed where we thought we were supposed to sign and sent them back. We managed to go out for a birthday dinner and the babies did really well.

The packers arrived in the morning and started putting our life in boxes. John, my dad, Keller and Lola took off for the drive across the country, leaving us to supervise packing up the house and moving on. I got another call that we didn't sign the papers correctly and at that point, we didn't have internet so I had to go into work to print and fax the papers back. After about an hour or so, I got another call that there were even more papers to sign so back to work I went. Such a pain in the ass. The packers finished around 6pm. Some friends came over for more goodbyes and then it was off to bed. We didn't sleep well at all and were not looking forward to Wednesday.

The movers arrived bright and early to load the truck. Once the truck was packed we were going to head up to NY to my parents' house and stay there until we flew to CA. Right off the bat the movers started complaining that the packers didn't pack things correctly and there was a lot more stuff than they anticipated and they weren't sure if it would fit on the truck. Yes, that was great to hear. They worked throughout the day and it was looking less and less likely that we would be heading to NY that day. Around 4:00 I asked when they thought they would be done and if they thought we should get a hotel room. They assured me they would be done in a couple of hours. About 30 minutes later one of the movers was moving a dresser out of the front door. He should have been moving it with someone as he managed to lose his footing and fall backwards, putting a hole in the wall. He was fine, the dresser was fine, but the wall was not. Then the movers started complaining about their boss and getting paid, etc. Know what? Not my problem. What was my problem was getting the hole in the wall fixed. Thankfully and weirdly, a handyman in the neighborhood was walking by and struck up a conversation with the driver of the truck. It was revealed that he was a handyman and he said he would fix the hole. So that process began.

Fast forward another few hours. Finally, at 10:00pm, (15 hours later) the movers were done. They had packed the truck and everything fit. All the bitching and moaning on the part of the movers was for nothing and the stress it induced for me was for nothing. Bitches.

My mom and I got on the road at 10:30. The drive was uneventful until Brenna pooped about 30 minutes from our destination. She pooped so much and was in a weird position that it leaked out and seeped through the strap holes in the car seat onto the seat of the car. FUN to deal with at 3:30 in the morning. Finally at 4:08am, we arrived at my parents' house.

It was pleasantly uneventful for the remainder of the week and weekend. The deed of our CA house was recorded on Thursday and we were officially California residents. That was a relief to know we wouldn't be transients for too much longer. My brother and sister-in-law came Friday night for the weekend and some dear friends that weren't able to see us before we left drove up Saturday. It was a great weekend of spending time together.

John and the crew arrived in San Diego Saturday night. They were able to get to the house and check things out. Everything looked good and Keller was really happy with the house.

Everyone left here Sunday. I was off for the rest of the day. It was emotionally draining for me to say goodbye to everyone and I just wanted to crawl under a rock. But the babies decided they were going to be fussy for the night and my hopes of just going to bed were thwarted. Oh well.

My uncle and aunt arrive from Florida today. So we'll have time with them and some more family and friends today and tomorrow and then it's off to CA. Just a couple more days of being a squatter. Thank GOD!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Final Countdown

It's one week until we leave Maryland. I'm actually a little reluctant to say that because there's a chance closing on our house in California will be delayed. That doesn't really sit well with me because there's so much we have to do before we leave and we kind of don't have that much time to do it in. I can't even think about it.

I have so much swirling around in my head right now and I don't really know where to begin with this post. A part of me wants to go into the emotional side of things. I've been saying goodbye to a lot of people lately and it's really wearing me down. But talking too much about that really tears me up. A part of me wants to talk about the people I'm going to miss the most, and perhaps the people I'm going to miss the least, but I wouldn't want to single anyone out ;) And then I could go on about the stress of it all. I feel overwhelmed by it all but yet I am not freaking out as much as maybe I should be. I mean, I'm not sleeping well, which is how the stress is manifesting for me. I haven't been able to run much, which is also having negative effects on me.

I just feel like things have been moving so fast, but yet moving in slow motion at the same time. It's a strange feeling. We're in limbo for a lot of things and that is what is feeling like slow motion. Yet, at this time next week I'll be locking my house up for the very last time and heading out of Maryland.

When we closed on our Maryland house last week, I unexpectedly cried as we left the closing. This is the longest I've lived someplace other than the house I grew up in. To think about everything that has happened for us in the 10 years we've lived in this house makes my head spin. My babies came home to this house. The memories we have here are just too great to even put into words. It's really hard to believe that we won't be here anymore. I know that we will have a wonderful life in California and I know we will make new memories. This is just a stop on our road. I get that, but it doesn't make it any easier to leave.

But what makes this even more weird is that there are things, people, places, etc. that are making it really easy for us to leave. Which kind of hurts, in a way. Especially the people aspect. There are people that we thought were part of our lives here, that we thought we were important to, but, as it turns out, we apparently are not. Some "friends" haven't even made an effort to see us before we leave. No calls, no emails, no texts. Nothing. That sucks.  To come to the conclusion that a friendship you thought was important, where you thought YOU were important to someone and vice versa, is very difficult. And to have to deal with those emotions on top of everything else is very hard. But I guess this is an example of how people, places, things, etc., come in and out of your life for a reason. There's a place and time for everything and I guess these people, places and things served their purpose for our time here, but their usefulness has been worn out.

So it's with mixed feelings and emotions that I go through this last week here in Maryland. When I close my door for the final time, I will do my best to focus on the happy times here, the things that made me grow as a person and all of us grow as a family. I will focus on the people that mean the world to me and the bonds that are between us that will never break. And I'll look out and know that there are wonderful things in store for us.